49ers Report Card: NFC Championship

Published: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 - 5:53 pm


• Offense: The 49ers attacked the middle of the Falcons' defense, rushing for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Colin Kaepernick, meanwhile, wasn't electric like last week, but he steadily delivered and made no mistakes. Grade: A

• Defense: It was a tale of two halves: The 49ers gave up 271 passing yards and 24 points by halftime. The Falcons reached the red zone only once in the second half – at the end – and Matt Ryan wasn't nearly as comfortable. Grade: B-

• Special teams: David Akers' missed kick from 38 yards would have made headlines had the Falcons scored at the end. The coverage units were impenetrable, and Andy Lee had a Pro Bowl-worthy punt to help seal the game in the final seconds. Grade: B

• Overall: There's no panic in the 49ers, who stayed true to their physical, ground-based offensive game plan even after falling behind 17-0. As a result, they're heading to New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps roulez! Grade: A

– Matthew Barrows

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